Balance of Performance set for WEC opener at Spa

Friday, March 30, 2018

This week saw the Endurance Committee of the FIA confirm the first 'wave' of balance of performance criteria for the cars entered into both the GTE Pro and GTE Am classes of the World Endurance Championship.

With the GTE Pro class now risen to five manufacturers (ten cars) with the appearance of BMW for the 2018-19 Super-season, we shall also see both Aston Martin Racing and Ferrari run either new cars or derivatives of their existing that the series has no race data for beyond that attained at its compulsory BoP test in France late last year.

According to the data sheet published this week, the AMR, Ferrari and BMW will see their cars start the season at what is suspected to be their homologated their base weight whilst the older Ford GT and Porsche 911 RSR's get small weight reduction of 16kg each. Other than differing turbo boost ratios across the turbo charged field we see no other changes in the GTE Pro class with any further changes in BoP being only activated by the FIA's 'auto BoP' programme.

The big changes are however within the GTE Am class where the venerable 2016 specification V8 Vantage GTE sees out her last half season in the WEC with an initial sizeable weight increase of +55kg from its previous weight at the last round of the 2017 WEC season as well plus an engine restrictor increase of +0.6mm to 29.4mm. Their only benefit is the addition of 3.0 litres of fuel to its overall tank capacity!

These are massive changes that obviously will have the dramatic effect in greatly slowing the 2017 championship winning car of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda as well as the #90 TF Sport entered car which will sample its first taste of the WEC at the Prologue next weekend with the much increased nine car entry.

There are of course other factors involved such as this year in Am, the Aston Martins will be on Michelins as opposed to Dunlops so only the racing will tell who's got their sums right! Other changes coming about this year in GTE include the self regulating refuelling minimum time of 35 seconds in Pro and 45 seconds in Am. Whilst it is the responsibility of each team to self construct refuelling restrictors that will achieve these minimum times the FIA have made it clear, any decrease in that minimum time will face severe sanction.

The first round of the WEC kicks off at Spa Francorchamps on Saturday 5th May.

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